SPLA ‘Kill 84’ in Attacks On Gatdet’s Militia in Unity State

From allAfrica, May 10, 2011:

South Sudan’s army (SPLA) has attacked militias loyal to rebel leader Peter Gatdet in the Nyadiet area of Unity state on Sunday and Monday killing 84 according to a local official. The SPLA allege that Gatdet is backed by the Sudan’s northern army, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in a bid to destabalise the region ahead of its independence in July.

The SPLA launched the attack in a remote village of Nyadiet in the western part of Mayom county on the Unity’s border between Warrap state, killing 38 on Sunday and a further 46 according to Unity state’s government spokesman Gideon Gatpan Thoar.

He said that the militias was implementing a a SAF strategy of laying land mines in South Sudan to threaten the transportation opportunities of South Sudanese ahead of their independence.

Thoar added that SPLA had attacked Nyadiet as it was being used as a hideout position for the militia. He said that 38 fighters loyal to the SAF were killed on Sunday.

He added that many were captured and are being held in what he described as good conditions. However, Thoar said the remaining militia had moved to Kuiy Koy an area north of west of Nyadiet but were attacked again by the SPLA on Monday killing around 46.

Militarily supplies including ammunition, anti-tank and anti-personal land mines, VHF radio, motors, machine guns and documents revealing the militias link for the Sudan Army Forces, were found he said.

The SPLA division four commander, Lt. General James Gatduel Gatluak, said on Tuesday that Gatdet’s militia had arrived from Timtha village, which is also the position of militia affiliated to the SAF in South Kordofan state. South Kordofan is in northern Sudan and after July will be north of a border between two nations.

South Sudan voted for independence in January as part of a 2005 peace deal that granted the south the right to self determination. Gatduel alleged that the northern army was supplying Gatdet with ammunition and logistical support.

Gatdet announced his rebellion against the southern government in March, declaring his intention to overthrow the southern government due to corruption and tribalism. Despite fighting the SPLA for much of the civil war Gatdet’s forces were integrated into the SPLA in 2006 after the peace deal. The SPLA deny Gatdet’s claims of defections to his militia based in Mayom county of Unity state.

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